5 design trends from 2016

A trend can sometimes be seen as a negative in the design community and blindly following one just for the sake of it is of course a no no but that doesn’t mean that trends are to be avoided all together. Its would take a foolish person to shut themselves off from the creative world and atlas not be aware of the pattens and trends that fluidly change throughout the year. So as we wave goodbye to 2016 we take a look at five design trends that we have noticed from the last 12 months.


1. Typographic deconstruction




Perhaps this trend best sums up 2016 as year and bit broken and torn apart. We have seen type used more as abstract graphically elements this year as well as the break down of the within logos such as Wolff Ollins The Met logo.



2. Simplification




It seem that this year was the year to strip back detail from brands and have a simple clean logo with a well thought colour palette. Simplification is nothing new in fact sometimes its a necessary step in the design process but this year it became more important and widespread than ever.


Its nots surprising that this has happened because as our lives get busier we have less and less time on our hands so what better way for brand to communicate than have a logo that is visually simple and instantly understandable, and as our phones and tablets take and increasingly bigger role in day to day routine having a logo or icon that is still as visually striking on a smaller screen is a massive bonus because no matter how much craft and beautiful detail your logo has when Joe Bloggs see it on his phone screen all that detail may as well not exist. Big names that have followed this simplification trend include BBC3, BT, Mastercard, Ministry of sound, Instagram and HP. Will this trend evolve even further in 2017? We shall see.



3. Intense and heightened colours




For many years, designers have groaned at the request, “Can you make the colours pop?” But this year, the globe needed cheering up a little more than usual – and a move away from subtle and muted tones towards childlike pastels, bright neons and primary colours has proved just the tonic.


In 2016, the use of punchy, eye-catching colour palettes was everywhere from Sagmeister & Walsh’s packaging for Appy Fizz to Pentagram’s branding for Film Independent. Practically every identity Hey Studio designed – from the OFFFdesign event to pop festival LiveOut – was a riot of colour, while Wolff Ollins imbued its identity for Nordic telco Telia with stunningly kaleidoscopic hues. More subtly, but just as effectively, bright reds and oranges were used to stunning effect in DIA’s new identity for Tomorrow International and GBH’s branding for Starck Paris.



4. The big brand mark revival




Nostalgia is ever-present in the world of design; as an influence, an inspiration, a tool to be drawn on. But 2016 saw designers take things to a whole new level, with some big brand identities simply pressing the reset button entirely.


To coincide with its return to the consumer products market, Kodak waved goodbye to the text based branding they’d introduced in 2006 and reclaimed their iconic red and black, camera-shutter logo of old. Similarly, North revived UK retailer Co-op’s classic 1968 clover-leaf logo, bringing a sense of reassurance back to the high street in turbulent times. Meanwhile, with the banking industry still widely untrusted, NatWest (under the guidance of Futurebrand) went back to a 1968 logo too, presumably in the hope people would forget 2008 had ever happened.


In all these cases, some tidying up and embellishing was done to fit modern sensibilities; it wasn’t a case of just cutting and pasting the old design as-was. But to all intents and purposes, a precedent has been set, and the iconic wordmarks of the past are fair game for a comeback. We can’t wait to see if any more are due for a revival in 2017.



5. Automation




Every year the makers of graphic design software aim to improve their products, to help us to work faster and with less boring repetition. This year, though, the rise of artificial intelligence seems to have ramped things up a notch.


For example, at Adobe’s annual conference in November it unveiled Sensei, a new platform that combines its Creative Cloud suite of design, photo and animation tools with an AI and machine learning framework.

In their own words: “In Creative Cloud, Adobe Sensei anticipates your next move. It recreates elements in photos where they didn’t exist, by studying nearby pixels. It sees type and recreates fonts for you. It identifies objects in your images and adds searchable words to your photo tags. And it recognizes faces, placing landmarks on eyebrows and lips so you can change expressions with click. Now tasks that take minutes are done in seconds.” Serious stuff.


I for one am looking forward to seeing what trends 2017 will conjure up for us.

From all of us here at Stone we hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year


Images © of creativebloq.com

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